Just how many of president-elect Donald Trump's transition team meetings is Ivanka Trump going to attend?

Ivanka Trump — who isn't on the transition team and can't hold a White House position — is pretty visible

Published November 22, 2016 2:42PM (EST)

Jared Kushner and his wife Ivanka Trump walk through the lobby of Trump Tower in New York. (AP)
Jared Kushner and his wife Ivanka Trump walk through the lobby of Trump Tower in New York. (AP)

Ivanka Trump is involved in a lot of Donald Trump's transition team meetings, which has to raise the questions: What exactly is her role, and how is this impacting the Trump organization?

According to a Monday report in The Hill, Ivanka Trump spoke with Argentine President Mauricio Macri soon after Donald Trump was elected president this month. Because Ivanka is expected to help manage her father's business empire while he serves as president, her involvement in the phone call raises serious questions about whether Trump will allow conflicts of interest to undermine his presidency before it begins.

Macri himself has a long-standing relationship with the Trump family. The Argentine president's father, Francisco, sold a defunct real estate development project to Donald Trump in the 1980s, and Macri himself told The Asahi Shimbun on Monday that he has known Ivanka "since her infant days."

A spokesperson for Macri has disputed media criticisms of the phone call, claiming that Macri "spoke with Ivanka only briefly to say hello because he met her when she was just a kid."

Ivanka Trump also sat in on Trump's first meeting with a foreign leader as president-elect, Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe.

Last week, when Indian real estate executives met with the president-elect to talk about their relationship with Trump's business, they made sure to stop by Ivanka's office and at least take a photo with her.

Trump's husband, Jared Kushner, also sat in on the meeting with Abe. Kusnher has emerged as one of Trump's closest advisers and was described by The New York Times on Saturday as "the closest thing to a steadying influence, injecting optimism, playing down controversies and reinforcing Mr. Trump’s perceptions, worldview and instincts."

Concerns that the Trump family will use Donald Trump's presidency to personally enrich themselves are more than mere speculation. When the Trumps sat down for their first post-election media appearance — an interview on "60 Minutes" — Ivanka's jewelry company used it as a promotional opportunity to sell the bangle bracelet that she wore for that occasion.


By Matthew Rozsa

Matthew Rozsa is a professional writer whose work has appeared in multiple national media outlets since 2012 and exclusively at Salon since 2016. He specializes in covering science and history, and is particularly passionate about climate change, animal science, disability rights, plastic pollution and a wide range of political issues. He has interviewed many prominent figures (reflecting his diverse interests) including President Jimmy Carter (1977-1981), Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Barak (1999-2001), animal scientist and autism activist Temple Grandin, inventor Ernő Rubik, epidemiologist Monica Gandhi, theoretical cosmologist Janna Levin, mRNA vaccine pioneer Katalin Karikó, philosopher of science Vinciane Despret, actor George Takei ("Star Trek"), Democratic vice presidential nominee Joe Lieberman (2000), Ambassador Michael McFaul (2012-2014), economist Richard Wolff, director Kevin Greutert ("Saw VI"), model Liskula Cohen, actor Rodger Bumpass ("SpongeBob Squarepants"), Senator John Hickenlooper (2021-present), American Public Health Association Executive Director Georges Benjamin (2002-present), comedian Bill Burr ("F Is for Family"), comedian David Cross ("Scary Movie 2") and right-wing insurrectionist Roger Stone.

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Argentina Donald Trump Ivanka Trump Japan Jared Kushner